The DA's march, the African Union summit begins, and Cliff is back in the judge's seat
|THIS WEEK’S WRAP UP|
The DA rounded up an impressive 20,000 supporters in Wednesday’s march against unemployment. Together with The Squad – the DA’s icons for the upcoming municipal elections – Mmusi Maimane led the blue river through the streets of Jhb CBD. Hot on the DA’s tail were the usual accusations of racism that plague the party, the ANC’s contention that the DA had effectively ‘rented-a-crowd’, and the DA’s equally quick denial that money given out to street vendors was anything more than compensation for lost income. In other sadly predictable news, the ANC’s lekgotla passed by with barely a blip in the political landscape, setting a rather underwhelming scene for the upcoming State of the Nation Address.
Cliff:1, Mnet: 0
Yep, TV personality Gareth Cliff won his court case against M-Net. The popular Idols Judge lives to die another day, as the court ruled that the case was solely a contractual matter. The broadcast giant fired him over an allegedly racist tweet during the Sparrow Saga; Cliff responded by suing M-Net for R25 million for wrongful dismissal and defamation.
The African Union summit takes place in Ethiopia this weekend. Top of the agenda is defusing Berundi. President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to run for a third term last December has cost over 400 civilian lives. The AU has already said it plans to send in 5000 peacekeepers. The problem is, neither the United Nations Security Council nor Burundi has sanctioned the proposed move. And other African leaders hanging onto power probably don’t want to set a precedent that might one day backfire on them. With instability in South Sudan also going unchecked, the credibility of the AU, as well as the future of the two countries, is now on the line. Meanwhile, Syrian opposition has said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to UN peace talks. This is due to the Assad government’s failure to meet their demands – like, ‘please stop bombing us while we’re trying to talk peace’.
While KPMG CEO Trevor Hoole publicly claimed this week that the firm’s report on an investigation into an alleged illegal covert unit in SARS was a “draft” and that KPMG had been mandated merely to “undertake a documentary review”, a letter by SARS lawyers written in November last year suggests otherwise. In the letter, legal firm Mashiane Moodley and Monama, state that their client, SARS, views the KPMG investigation as “forensic” with the express intention of “of pursuing criminal charges”. Somebody is not telling the truth here. By MARIANNE THAMM.
South Africa in the Age of Sparrow: Why do we sabotage our own country?
Penny Sparrow has gone from being an insignificant KwaZulu-Natal estate agent to a personification of the state of our nation. Crass racism, contestation for the country’s resources, class division and spectacular conceit colliding in a general swirl of self-hate. We love to hate what we are. The honeymoon years of our democracy was a grand delusion, the diversity we once celebrated is now at the core of national discord and we are plunging downhill, following the stereotype of every good African state gone bad. It is easy to see Jacob Zuma and Penny Sparrow as the champions of our regression. But South Africa has a general penchant for self-sabotage. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
SONA: Go for the Big Five, President Zuma, you have nothing to lose
The President should focus on the multi-dimensional nature of South Africa’s crisis: from the economy, to racial polarisation, securitisation of the state, dysfunction and maladministration at local government, the problems are easily identifiable. The SONA should be easy to write. Go for the Big Five, and you’re safe, Mr President.
How Ethiopia exploits AU role to suppress international criticism
Media and civil society at the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa face a stark choice: avoid criticising Ethiopia, or risk being denied access to the continental body. SIMON ALLISON reports on how the Ethiopian government uses its role as gatekeeper to the AU to keep journalists, researchers and activists in check.
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
We Are #WomenNotObjects
|FACT OF THE WEEK|
The first computer programmer was Ada Lovelace, aka “The Enchantress of Numbers” – a nickname bestowed on her by Charles Babbage, creator of the first general purpose computer, back in the mid 1800’s. Lovelace created the first input data for Babbage’s computer: a program to calculate Bernoulli numbers. She is also credited with being the first person to realise that computers could be useful outside of mathematics, since qualitative data could be represented numerically.
Celebrate Chinese New Year at Joburg’s first China Town on Saturday. With fireworks and dancing dragons, Kung Fu and delicious street food: this is how the Year of the Monkey will be ushered in. Celebrations span Commissioner Street and spill into the popular Sheds@1Fox. The main entertainment begins at 6pm and ends off with a (fireworks-produced) bang at 9pm.
The delightful Circa Gallery hosts two new exhibitions. Colbert Mashile’s Man’s Duality (unearthed) is a playful look at what makes humans human, while Antoinette Murdoch’s Gratuitous Cocking captures the amusing and unnecessary dramas of daily existence.
Cape Town: ‘The Soil’ perform at Kirstenbosch Gardens on Saturday. The award-winning local acapella trio brings their unique blend of ‘Kasi Soul’ to one of the world’s most dazzling outdoor concert venues. Starts 5.30pm. R150 pp (R110 for kids).
Unrestricted Bold, Cape Town: Act 3 of 3. The final session of the Mzanzi Magic music mash-up includes Mi Casa, Emptee, and Djs Kent and Fistaz Mixwell. Grand Café, Saturday, from 12pm. Tickets from R200.
Durban: Rodriguez is in town! Tickets for Sunday’s concerts are sold out. As of writing, spots are still available for Monday 1st February 2016. Tickets: R340 – R625.
Tennis: The Australian Open, Saturday: Women’s final, 10am (SS6). In her first Grand Slam final, fourth seed Angelique Kerber has the dubious honour of facing the ultimate tennis legend, Serena Williams. Sunday, Men’s final: top seed Novak Djokovic takes on second seed Andy Murray.
Soccer: The ABSA premiership, Saturday: The Soweto Derby sees legendary rivals the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates face off at 3.30pm. Then it’s Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, 7,30pm (SS3). Sunday: Platinum stars v Tuks, 8.30am; Bloemfontein Celtic v Bidvest Wits, 8,30am.